Syria lashes out at US move to arm rebels

July 25, 2013 | By | Reply More

July 25, – The White House acknowledged that momentum in the conflict has shifted as the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group and Iran have helped Assad’s forces.

hromedia Syria lashes out at US move to arm rebels arab uprising2

Syria lashed out on Thursday at the US decision to send arms to rebels fighting President Bashar Al Assad’s troops, saying Washington is unsuitable to act as a broker at any peace negotiations in Geneva.

“The American intensions seek to continue the cycle of violence and terrorism in Syria in order to destabilise security and stability in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Obama administration opposed providing any lethal assistance to Syria’s rebels until last month, but is now moving ahead with sending weapons to vetted rebels after securing the approval of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

President Barack Obama and his national security team still have yet to say publicly what weapons they’ll provide the Syrian opposition and when they’ll deliver them. There has also been concern in the West that US weapons could end up in the hands of Al Qaeda-


linked groups.

At the same time, the United States and Russia have been working to set up a peace conference in Geneva to try end Syria’s civil war, now in its third year. More than 93,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in March 2011, according to the United Nations.

No official date has been set for the Geneva conference as the opposition refuses to attend any talks that are not about Assad’s departure. Government officials say participation in the conference should be without preconditions.

“Washington’s decision to send arms to terrorists in Syria confirms that the American administration is not fair in efforts to find a political solution and hold an international conference in Geneva,” said Syrian state TV, citing an unnamed Foreign Ministry official.

By contrast, the main Western-backed Syrian opposition group welcomed Washington’s decision on weapons, describing it as a “move forward.”

The Syrian National Coalition said in a statement on Thursday that it was committed to ensuring the arms reach only those loyal to the Coalition and its affiliated military councils — indicating it would try to prevent US weapons from reaching Al Qaeda fighters in Syria.

Also on Thursday, Syrian government troops bombarded the central city of Homs and, backed by Hezbollah fighters, tried to storm a rebel-held neighbourhood in the area, according to activist groups.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime forces bombarded the northern neighborhood of Khaldiyeh in preparation for a ground assault. It had no immediate word on casualties.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said troops were hitting Khaldiyeh with mortars.

In late June, government forces launched a major offensive on Homs, a strategic city of about one million residents located on the road between the capital Damascus and regime strongholds on the Mediterranean coast.

The Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground, said government forces captured the central town of Sukhna in Homs province.

The fighting there killed several rebels, including the local commander of an Al Qaeda-linked group, the Observatory said. It did not name the commander of Jabhat Al Nusra group, also known as the Nusra Front in English, but said he was an Iraqi citizen.

Press Journalist for HROmedia – Khizer Hayat, reports from the region.

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Category: Arab uprising

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